We rarely think too much about the keys we use to access our homes and businesses each day. While keys may look basically the same, there can be a big difference in the amount of security a key can provide. The most secure keys are patented keys, which are protected against unauthorized key duplication, as the key manufacturer controls the distribution of the cylinders in the lock.
Because of this the key blanks are not readily available at places which duplicate keys, like hardware stores. The only people that can order key blanks to cut keys for patented keys are authorized individuals whose signatures are on file with the manufacturer.1
How Patent Protected Keys Work
These keys are different from the ones in the past that have “do not duplicate” stamped into them and are often duplicated despite the warning. That is because with those standard keys, the blanks to cut new keys are readily available. With patented keys, the blanks are not readily available.
Patented products, like patent-protected key systems, are all unique, attributed to one owner, can’t be copied and have legal protection, and duplicating a patent-protected key without expressed permission of the owner or organization can result in severe financial penalties.2 Patented keys, or high security keys as they are often called, don’t just protect you from duplication. They work with locks that are almost impossible to pick, since the locking mechanisms are matched to specific pins on your unique key(s).3
Patent Protected Keys for Home and Business
You would need a specialty locksmith with specialized tools to open a patent-protected lock. In addition, some patent-protected lock systems have mechanical keys with a digital chip where authorized owners can delete a key’s data remotely, thereby rendering the key unusable. This can be convenient for parents when children lose their key and for business owners when an employee is fired, on leave, or laid-off and unable to return a patent-protected key.
For business owners there are additional advantages to having patent-protected locking systems installed. If you have large, expensive or important assets within your business and you want to make sure that only certain employees have access to these assets, a secure door with a patent-protected key system will offer an added level of security. You may also want to consider this level of security if it is important that certain employees are not able to access specific areas of your building.
All businesses that have moved into a new location should also change existing locks to ensure that employees of the former business, or contractors with access to the building during construction or remodeling, aren’t able to use their keys to access the business. If you have been the victim of a break-in, that is also a good reason to upgrade your doors and locking mechanisms.
One factor that must be taken into consideration with patent-protected key systems is that utility patents expire after 20 years. Several patent-protected key systems utility patents are expiring this year including Medeco’s M3 and Sargent’s XC.4 When a patent expires for patent-protected key systems the patent becomes part of the public domain. While the manufacturer will still adhere to established security standards, it is best to either upgrade your key system or go with a product with a patent that is longer in duration. A professional locksmith can provide expert advice on which patent-protected lock to choose for your home or business.
Locksmith Services in Michigan
Thirty years of experience in virtually all facets of locksmithing has made Action Locksmith one of the most trusted locksmith companies in Michigan. Our hard work and dedication ensure a job well done with a secure home and business. We handle everything from re-keying to door repair and installation, camera and master key systems, code violations, keyless entry and so much more.
Our locksmith technicians are experienced, professional, and resourceful. We specialize in both residential and commercial locksmith services as well as provide 24-hour Emergency Service. Call us to learn more about how we can help your home or business!